She had plenty of questions to ask her because so many of us find branding quite baffling and she gave some brilliant answers.
We realised that in all the current craziness, jumping on an Instagram live and watching before the 24 hour time limit is up can be quite an ask, so we noted down some of Cathy’s fantastic answers so that you don’t miss out!
So without further ado…
Why is it important to have a strong brand?
Let’s start with some basics, because it’s easy to think that branding isn’t really that important.
But it really is.
We need to be able to trust in places where we’re going to spend our money, I think we can all agree with that. A strong brand identity allows our ideal customers to find us and easily recognise us as someone who understands their problem and has a solution, which leads to them trusting as and ultimately being willing to invest in our business.
If your brand is consist and your message is strong then people understand what you can help them with and that you have high attention to detail. On the flip side, if your branding isn’t consistent then this can suggest that you don’t have attention to detail and that you don’t necessarily understand their exact problem.
(A quick side note, some of you may feel the problem and solution aspect doesn’t apply to your business, but it applies to every business. For example, if you sell sustainable t-shirts then the basic problem you’re solving is someone wanting to wear sustainable clothing!)
What elements make up a brand identity?
Many people think your logo is pretty much all your brand identify comes down to, and while your logo is very important there is actually so much more to creating a coherent brand.
- Colours (certain colours are more calming, while others ignite passion, where do you want your brand to stand?)
- Fonts (fonts can range from fun and childish to serious and elegant and everything in between! Choosing your fonts is a big part of your brand.)
- The tone of voice used everywhere (such as on your website, marketing, emails, in print…)
- The language you use (do you use more professional language or slang, it will very much depend on your brand!)
- Images you use (for example if you’re a sustainable brand then the images need to represent that so when people see your images they understand that sustainability is at your business’s core. Conversely, if you run a legal advice business then your images need to be approachable but also professional, not cartoons for example.)
A brand identity isn’t just about how everything looks, a brand identity’s purpose is to evoke a feeling in your potential customers.
What feeling do you want people to have when they look at your website or enter your shop?
What can I do while at home to improve my brand?
Seeing as we’re all at home for the foreseeable future we thought it would help if Cathy gave us some pointers on how we can spend this time to improve our brands.
If you’re at the beginning of your branding journey then head to Pinterest to gather inspiration.
Create a board that has snippets of things you love that fits with your values and the image you want to portray. Then you can use these ideas to make a mood board that gives off the exact feeling you want your brand to evoke in people, this mood board will form the basis of your brand.
Also, make sure you pull in some photos when you’re pinning so when you have your brand photography done you can match up the sorts of images you like with what style the photographer does (as every photographer will have a very specific look to the images they create.)
Now is also a great time to create your own (or tailor someone else’s) Canva templates.
Get your specific brand fonts uploaded into Canva and identify the exact hex codes of your brand colours. Then create a few templates for the social media platforms you use the most so everything always looks coherent.
Speaking of fonts, these can be a bit confusing for us not branding experts.
Cathy recommends using two fonts max in your logo, and then use a simpler font that compliments the fonts in the logo for things like your website body text and printed copy.